24 Episodes

2001, TV Show

24 Episode: "Day 8: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM"

Season 8, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Jack is drawn back into the homeland-security business when Middle Eastern leader Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor) comes to the U.S. on a peacekeeping mission as the eighth season opens in New York. Dana Walsh: Katee Sackhoff. Cole Ortiz: Freddie Prinze Jr. Brian Hastings: Mykelti Williamson.
Original Air Date: Jan 17, 2010
Guest Cast Benito Martinez: Victor Aruz Paul Wesley: Stephen
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Season 8, Episode 1
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Length: 43:00
Aired: 1/17/2010
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24 Episode Recap: Day 8: 4 PM-6 PM Season 8, Episode 1

Over the last couple seasons, 24 has acquired a reputation for getting a little soft and flabby in its midsection. But the long-running series never fails to deliver a taut, action-packed opener and closer, and the Season 8 premiere proves no exception.

We hit the ground running with an assassination attempt, a dead body in a bathtub and a bloody shootout. Who the players are, and what all that violence means, we'll find out soon enough.

As the day begins for Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), our favorite former CTU agent seems the happiest he's been in years: His damaged relationship with daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) is finally healing, as are his wounds from that nasty Season 7 virus. And he's even taking his little granddaughter, Teri, on trips to the zoo.

The cherry on top: Jack has decided to accept Kim's offer to move back with her family to Los Angeles. Once there, he plans to take it easy, spending time with Teri, doing consulting work for a security firm and not even trying to save the world at all.

But we all know this tranquility can't last for long. While longtime fans understandably want to see Jack happy at last (this one included), it would make for a pretty dull 24 hours if it was all hugs and smiles and trips to the zoo. So, onto the gunfights and explosions...

Trouble comes knocking on Jack's door in the form of Victor Aruz (Benito Martinez), a former contact from the good old Salazar days. Seems Aruz — the guy who had that sniper rifle trained on him in the opening scene — wants to cut a deal because the people trying to kill Kamistan President Omar Hassan (Bollywood star Anil Kapoor) now want to kill him too.

Seems President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is wrapping up negotiations with Hassan on an agreement to withdraw troops from his (fictional) country. Apparently Iran — ahem, Kamistan, has nuclear ambitions, but the question is whether their centrifuges are aimed at producing nuclear power or nuclear weapons.

Once the deal is informally made, we get a quick (and somewhat clunkily delivered) synopsis of what's been going on in Taylor's personal life. Long story short, things got pretty tense pretty publicly during her divorce from the first gentleman, Henry Taylor — mostly because she had their daughter, Olivia, sent to prison for that pesky little murder she ordered. The nerve!

In CTU's spanking-new New York headquarters, we meet Agent Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.), as well as Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff), who has a run-in with a typically un-gregarious Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Seems Chloe has fallen a little out-of-touch with technological advances during the time away raising her child, and she doesn't really like asking for help.

Also new to the scene is CTU Director Brian Hastings (Mykelti Williamson), who makes a deal with Jack: He'll bring Aruz in for questioning if Jack can get him to the helicopter pick-up site. Of course, it couldn't be that simple: The wounded Aruz collapses, a good citizen calls 911, and all hell breaks loose.

The police show up, followed by Aruz's would-be assassins, toting automatic weapons and some very bad attitudes. After taking refuge in a deserted building, Jack makes his first kill of the season, and it's a doozey. One guy gets a fire-ax to the chest, while the other takes a long fall, hitting every floor on the way down.

Just when it seems Jack will make the delivery, some dude with a missile launcher goes and blows up the chopper, and with it, Aruz. Jack does manage to get a crucial piece of intel out of him, though: The assassins have a man in Hassan's inner circle. Or possibly a woman on the inside — Meredith Reed (Jennifer Westfeldt), a young blond reporter who's caught the eye of Kamistan's President amid his marital strife. Looks like this indiscretion could cost Hassan his life...unless Jack has something to say about it.

Stray Observations:
• I enjoyed the uncommonly cute scene in the early going: Jack reminds Teri that she's supposed to call him "grandpa." "You don't look like a grandpa," she observes, to which Jack, with an uncharacteristic chuckle, replies, "Couldn't agree with you more."

• Surprise, Chloe doesn't take criticism from her superiors well. After Hastings points out that she seems "ambivalent" toward her new job — seeing as she only came back because her husband was downsized — Chloe snaps, "If you really wanted to be more efficient, why didn't you just say, if I don't catch up soon, I'm gonna be fired?"

• I was skeptical of how Freddie Prinze Jr. would fit into the 24 crew, mostly because he's never starred in anything that I thought was, you know, good. But so far, I'm buying his stoic Agent Ortiz — we'll just see if he can stay tough once things really heat up.

• 24 requires plenty of suspension of disbelief, but the way Jack got pulled back into service this time did seem particularly thin to me. An old informant just happens to show up at his door an hour before he leaves for Los Angeles to start a new life? Oh well, Jack's back, and ultimately, that's all that matters.

5:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.
As hour two kicks off, we're already in the thick of it, and Jack is easing back into in the saving-the-world game again. "Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in." The story of Jack's life.

Thanks to the intel Jack extracted from Aruz's dying breath — not to mention some relatively quick work from Chloe — CTU determines that the inside assassin is intrepid reporter and would-be presidential girlfriend Meredith Reed. So agents swoop in, grab Reed and haul her into CTU. Threat eliminated, right? Not so fast!

Chloe smells a rat, and of course, no one will listen but her old friend Jack. He's more reluctant than ever to get involved, though, with Kim and family on their way to whisk him off to the airport, and a new life together.

I was a little surprised that Jack refuses to stay and help Chloe despite her heartfelt pleading: "You've come to me for help many times, and I've never let you down. You've asked me to do crazy things, and I've always taken your side." But I'm even more surprised it's Kim who ultimately convinces him to stay.

Say what you will about Jack's daughter — I've never had a problem with her character, though a lot of fans have — but it's impressive the way she's grown from the petulant, selfish teen of Day 1 into a mature wife and mother willing to put the greater good, at least temporarily, above the dream of a picture-perfect Bauer family.

Once resolved to see this through, Jack jumps in feet first, procuring some weapons from the CTU armory and going rogue — with Chloe running ops, of course — to hunt down the real assassins.

While this hour proved decidedly lighter on action than the last — Jack didn't even kill a single terrorist! — it's a testament to the strong cast and, thus far, solid writing that the human drama was just as compelling as any gunplay.

Stray Observations:
• Romance at CTU never goes well — see Kim and Chase, Day 3 — but that's exactly what Walsh and Ortiz are up to. Seems Walsh has a cell-phone stalker, though, who knows something about a wild past that could somehow ruin her career. So I'm thinking rocky times lie ahead for these two lovebirds.

• The new White House Chief of Staff, Rob Weiss (Chris Diamantopoulos), seems like a bit of a tool. I'm not inclined to like Hastings too much, but the way Weiss ripped into him near the top of the hour seemed a little out of line. It's not like he's the one threatening to kill Hassan.

• Of course, minutes after I felt kind of bad for the guy, Hastings goes and pressures Ortiz to lie in his report about requesting additional support for the botched Aruz operation. So maybe Hastings does deserve a little dressing-down.

• Loved Jack's blunt observation, while looking gravely around CTU after his run-in with Hastings: "I hate this place."

Based on the previews for hours three and four, it looks like we can look forward to the return of Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) — and screamy Jack!

 

 

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Over the last couple seasons, 24 has acquired a reputation for getting a little soft and flabby in its midsection. But the long-running series never fails to deliver a taut, action-packed opener and closer, and the Season 8 premiere proves no exception.

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Premiered: November 06, 2001, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (1,415 ratings)
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Premise: An exciting and edgy real-time action series about U.S. counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer trying to save his country from foreign and domestic enemies in the course of 24 grueling hours (with each hour a separate episode). The series took a great concept and executed it superbly, juggling taut storylines with forceful performances and a stylish, gritty look. Which made it easier to forgive some of the more foolish and implausible subplots, many involving Jack's crisis-magnet daughter, Kim.

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